Drivers attack complicated and 'unpopular' parking payment apps as older motorists prefer using cash

Drivers attack complicated and 'unpopular' parking payment apps as older motorists prefer using cash

Danny Kelly slams expensive parking charges

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 01/02/2024

- 10:13

Updated: 06/02/2024

- 15:59

Many believe there are too many different parking apps on the market

The overwhelming majority of drivers prefer to use cash or contactless payments rather than apps to pay for parking, new research has found.

Around 83 per cent of drivers said they want to ditch car parking apps and would prefer to return to older methods of using cash or coins to pay at a car park.

In a poll of almost 1,400 motorists, respondents said they didn’t want to install so many different apps just so they could pay for parking.

Other concerns from drivers include worrying about online fraud and many finding the services too difficult to navigate.

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Paying for parking

Many drivers prefer to use cash to pay for parking


Many pay-and-display machines have been taken down in recent years because mobile operators are switching off the 3G networks used to process card payments.

Some car parking operators have decided to modernise with newer machines that can handle card payments, while others have ditched machines completely.

The research, from Autocar, found that only 14 per cent of survey respondents said they preferred to use a mobile app for various reasons.

Drivers cited convenience as the main benefit as apps can allow them to extend their stay remotely, as well as make it easier to expensive parking fees for work.

Other benefits include drivers being able to avoid queuing for the pay-and-display machine and removing the need to carry cash.

Elderly drivers in particular have reported issues with using apps to pay for their parking, saying it can be difficult or impossible to navigate the apps if they are not tech-savvy.

In the coming years, thousands of car parks around the country are expected to require drivers to either pay via texting or calling a number, or through the use of an app.

While a number of parking companies already use apps, like JustPark, PayByPhone and RingGo, some drivers have found difficulty in navigating the different services.

Autocar editor Mark Tisshaw said: “Parking apps provide councils with cost savings compared to pay-and-display machines, but our data proves how unpopular these apps can be.

“The British public clearly believe there are simply too many of them and they can be very complicated to use.

“The Government’s proposal to streamline the parking app system into a single point of access will be welcomed by many.”

There have been calls for the creation of a streamlined process to allow drivers to use a single, central app to pay for parking, rather than having a number of different services on their phones.


Parking machine

Many pay-and-display machines have been taken offline in recent years


The National Parking Platform could be the answer to drivers’ concerns about paying for parking by making it easier for drivers to use apps through easier methods.

It will allow drivers to choose their preferred service and reduce the inconvenience of downloading and signing up for a number of different services.

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